Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kasanka Bat Migration!

Cattle Egret in Kasanka National Park

Puku and Baboons grazing

Kasanka is known for it's Sitatunga, tough to see them anywhere else

Weaver bird

Elephants. We saw 17 one evening. 3 of those had poaching injuries.

Bat forest in Kasanka. The fruit bats, or flying foxes, migrate around central
Africa and congregate in Kasanka during the end of the year. They sleep
in about 1 hectare of swamp. 8 million 1 pound fruit bats.

Went during a full moon.

Which was gorgeous.

Each night they come to feed on local fruit trees.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Kwanga and Village Life

Early in the morning people line the fences for a good place to watch the ceremony.

Groups of dancers come and go, drumming on drums|
and showing off their skills. Sometimes the dancers
are quite young.

Here comes the Chief!

Senior Chief Mwewa
Kwanga is a ceremony of thanksgiving, unity, and all those other buzz
words for big parties. But what you won't normally hear is the story of
how Kwanga began. A long time ago there was this old chief, and in
typical powerful old chief fashion he wanted more power, even to the point
ordering newborn boys to be killed. The villages in the surrounding
communities didn't like this idea too much, so they planned the murder
of the chief. His servants and helpers drilled and plugged a hole in one
of his boats. They arranged the strongest swimmers to be his boatsmen
for the day. When they got out to the middle of the lake, they unplugged
the hole and bailed ship. The old chief was left to drown in the lake.

Mama found a chameleon

Welcome to the hot season.

Martin's rocking garden.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Photo Blog - Tanzania

Victoria Falls.
The Tonga people of southern Zambia have a legend of a dragon. The Nyami Nyami, meaning “meat meat”,lives in the Zambezi river, specifically at Victoria Falls. There are many stories of his origins. Some say he used to live at Victoria Falls, locally Mosi-o-Tunya, meaning “the smoke that thunders”, where the coiled up dragon spent his time. Downstream his wife lived, and when the Kariba dam was built, the Tonga people, many who had to be relocated, prayed to their great spirit to fight back. In 1957 and 1958 the river received the worst floods in over 100 years. The Nyami Nyami heard their call. The Tonga people, still wanting their land back, believe that some day the Nyami Nyami will find a way to return to his wife. People around the river wear a necklace made out of local river stones or bone, representing the Nyami Nyami, providing them good luck and passage along the river.

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

Bagamoyo, Tanzania, sunrise.

400 year old cave dug by the Chagga people during times of
war with the Massai. They went from miles connecting villages
and housed their families and livestock. They got good at defending
themselves in their caves, disguising their presence, hiding their smoke
and disposing of their enemies in the river (also connected underground).
Guards would wait in the darkness just after the tunnel opens further than
you can open your arms and touch the walls. When you reach that point
you say the secret word. If not, you'll get to meet either the half kaput stick,
knocking you out, or the full kaput stick.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Baby Baboon tasting a leaf.

Ground Hornbill at Lake Manyara

Bull Elephant at Lake Manyara

Giraffes at Tarangire National Park

Herds of Tarangire National Park

Massai are the only people allowed to live in the Ngorongoro
Conservation Area in northern Tanzania. They are herders and
have made an agreement with the government to live in harmony
with the land, only herding, and no farming. They wrap themselves
the cloth, blue for men, red for women. For their sandals, they are now
made from used tires, using the tread on the bottom. They are squared
instead of rounded so your enemies cannot tell which direction you
were headed based on your footprints. Many men have gaps between
their front two teeth. They say that since they were a war tribe in the
past, the gap served the purpose of feeding the injured when they
couldn't open their mouths.

Massai women wear beads around their necks, shrugging their shoulders
to make noise to the beat of their songs.

African Elephant crossing the plains in the crater.
The crater walls made for beautiful views.


Lions hanging out by the stream.

I've found that zebras make great pictures. This is one of my favorites.

We came up on this lion hanging out in the middle of the road.
Later she got up and took shelter from the sun right under my window.
I could have touched her.

Lesser Flamingos migrate from one side of the lake to the other.
They live here their whole life.

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. The crater is made from an extinct volcano,
which basically imploded. This region has been better preserved for the wildlife
than many other regions in the area. It boasts the highest density of predators
in all of Africa.

Stone Town is known for their wood door carvings. Just walking
through the streets you can admire them all.

Octopus dinner with macaroni. Yum.

Spice tour guide climbing coconut trees. They tie bark into a figure 8,
wrap their feet, and shimmy up the tree. I tried and made it a few feet
before calling it quits, drenched in sweat.

Coconut picking acrobatics.

Completely unedited picture.

Our snorkeling guide owns a restaurant and catches octopus in
his spare time. Caught this one for us and let us play with it for
a while.

Stone Town, Zanzibar at sunset.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Safari Pictures

Baboons all around

Buffalo bull

The tank we lived in for a week

Elephant grazing

Hippo paradise

Leopard trying to hide from people

Lilac breasted roller

Lazy lion

Okavango Delta

Waterbuck in Moremi Game Reserve

Black backed vulture waiting its turn for some grub

Yellow billed hornbill

Zebras crossing the road